“If you quit, I quit”, an equation used by Saudis to summarize their war on neighboring Yemen, putting aside all the slogans of determination and firmness that were enameling the Kingdom’s newspapers for over 18 months. Saudis have raised the white flag, and he who declared the war on Yemen has gotten out of his box to spoke the kingdom’s desire to stop it after not only the failure to achieve its goals, but also having opposite results.
Finally, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir uttered: “We want to stop the war,” Saudis tweeted after that: “We have lost.”
Two days ago, Jubeir expressed his country’s desire for a cease-fire in Yemen and knocked the ball in the court of Yemenis. Jubeir questioned the possibility of Yemeni commitment to the ceasefire in Yemen! Careful to abide by the cease-fire was nothing more than to ease the effect of the declaration of failure.
Since the beginning of the aggression on Yemen, Saudi ignored all the voices that came out to condemn the war and called for its cessation. The fall of more than 10 thousand people dead since the beginning of the aggression – according to United Nations estimates in late August didn’t embarrass the kingdom for more than 18-month period. Finding an honorable exit was the only concern for the Saudi administration, the exit that comes at the expense of the Yemenis and their blood, which saves the face of deputy crown prince in the frantic struggle to inherit the throne of his father.
Recently, New York Times published a report about Minister Mohamad bin Salman, citing information from Saudi diplomats and princes of the royal family, in which it revealed that bin Salman’s decision to go for a war on Yemen without coordinating with any of the Saudi officials, although there was a debate among them about taking an action against Yemen.
The three major security positions in the Kingdom are occupied by Defense Minister Mohamad bin Salman, Interior Minister Mohamad bin Nayef, and Minister of National Guard Mete’b bin Abdullah. Bin Salman bypassed the security positions to unilaterally take the decision of war, believing that the success of this war would secure him to inherit the throne smoothly, and would lead him to “the global stage” at an early age, according to the British daily Financial Times.
It became clear that bin Salman claimed the aggression on Yemen from the first few hours. Upon the war started, Saudi media was mentioning bin Salman’s name as a “commander of Decisive Storm as he was taking photos with Saudi fighting forces here and there. Al-Arabiya TV Channel reported that the first strikes on Yemen were led by Mohamad bin Salman, but without mentioning that the Minister of National Guard Mete’b bin Abdullah was not aware of them!
Decisively, Saudi Arabia identified goals behind the war as follows:
– To restore the “legitimacy” that Saudi Arabia exclusively granted to a resigned president who does not represent the people in Yemen as far as he represents the image of Saudi influence in the country.
– To withdraw Ansarullah group from the capital Sanaa backward to Saada.
– To disarm Ansarullah.
– Not to allow any role for former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen’s future.
In March 26 2015, war on Yemen was declared and strikes began on Yemeni army positions. Raids of the absurd Saudi war reached popular markets and religious and touristic places.
After less than a month of the aggression, Saudi Arabia declared another campaign budding it “Restoring Hope” in order to allegedly “resume the political process” to complete the “Decisive Storm” which ended after achieving its objectives.” However, no achieved goals have been identified.
Thus what has already been achieved?
After a month of the aggression on Yemen and to this day, Saudi Arabia couldn’t manage to restore Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to Sanaa or to the surrounding provinces. The utmost achievement in this regard was reaching Eden province, the place from where he had fled before the offensive started.
Moreover, Yemenis succeeded in lining up the Higher Political Council, which gained legitimacy to lead Yemen, presided by Saleh Al Sammad, one of the most prominent Ansarullah leaders, with his deputy Qassem Mohamad Labuza, a prominent politician in the People’s Congress party, which Saudi Arabia has pledged not to allow it to play any role in the future of Yemen.
Ansarullah: from Sanaa streets to the Saudi depth
Members of Ansarullah remained in Sanaa, and Saudi forces and its allies didn’t succeed even in confining them within the capital. Yemeni fighters who belong to the Ansarullah, the People’s Congress and other clans are still present today in Bayda’ and Lahej provinces adjacent to Eden.
Expansion of Yemeni forces was not limited to the provinces only, but had reached the Saudi depth as Yemeni fighters managed to take control over the Saudi Al Khubah military position in Jizan. Yemeni troops stormed the Rabuah city in Assir, south of the kingdom. In late August, Popular Committees reached the outskirts of Najran province inside Saudi Arabia.
Ansarullah weapons: from Toshka to Borkan-1
What about the goal “to disarm Ansarullah”? … the answer is supported by the Saudi military assembly points and positions that are pounded daily by Yemeni Toshka and Borkan-1 rockets. In last July, Yemenis revealed a home-made Zelzal 3-type ballistic missile system, with a range up to 65 km. In early September, they announced the development of Borkan-1 missile system of a range up to 800 km, which was used in bombing Saudi Fahd Air Base in Taif.
Thus, if the Saudi kingdom did not succeed in achieving any of its objectives in aggression against Yemen, why did it launch “Restoring Hope” campaign? The announced goal of “resuming the political process” confirms that the second campaign that was announced 18 months ago, came to pave the way to stop the war in a way that saves an exit for Saudi Arabia out to be portrayed as a victory for bin Salman in his battle for the throne of his father … however, the exit didn’t appear. Saudi long war of attrition dumped the whole kingdom into the Yemeni quagmire.
What has the kingdom achieved from the war on Yemen?
After 18 months of aggression on Yemen, Saudi media is still reticent to mention the achievements of the Kingdom in the war. However, muted Saudi media has been compensated by Saudi tweeters who commented on the recent Jubeir’s declaration in which he recalled the achievements of the Kingdom in Yemen.
Mojtahed, a Saudi activist on Twitter said: “The objectives of Decisive Storm was to take Houthis out to Saada and to hand their weapons over to the legitimate power which must return back to Sanaa. But it ended up as saying: “if you quit, I quit.”
What are the achievements of ‘Decisive Storm’?
– Destroying Yemen’s infrastructure.
– Killing thousands of innocent civilians.
– Wasting billions of national treasury.
– Reducing salaries and stopping of bounces,” another tweet by Mojtahed read.
“One of the goals made by Decisive Storm was a child dying of hunger in Yemen,” another Saudi activist tweeted.
“At the beginning of Decisive Storm, Jubeir was speaking like [Georges W.] Bush when he launched Operation Desert Storm. but today, he is speaking like Mahmoud Abbas in a tone of humiliation and degradation,” Turki bin Mohamad, third Saudi activist tweeted, commenting on Jubeir’s statements.
Even today, there is no clear official figures about the number of Saudis killed by the imposed war on Yemen, but there are figures that are being published from time to time. Four months after the start of the aggression, confidential Saudi sources revealed that the Saudi death toll reached 122 killed and about a thousand others wounded.
A New York Times report said that the Saudi toll of casualties from its war on Yemen is much more than what is declared. In late March, Mojtahed revealed that Saudi casualties from the war on Yemen reached 3500 killed soldiers and 6500 others wounded, in addition to 430 officers and soldiers missing.
What about the financial cost which affects heavily the economic deficit of the Kingdom. Six months after the aggression, the American “Foreign Policy” Journal revealed that Mohamad bin Salman’s war cost the Saudi treasury $ 725 billion.
On the seventh of August, the US researcher Bruce Riedel wrote an article published by The Monitor, stating that the war on Yemen will cost Saudi Arabia too much, revealing that the kingdom was ranked third in the world last year in terms of the military budget, after the United States and China.
Riedel warned that a country with a population of 20 million people cannot continue endlessly with this huge military budget, especially amid falling of oil prices again.
Months of declaring war on Yemen, the Saudis were surprised by the deficit record of their budget ($ 98 million). This took the kingdom to a new era of “austerity” and affected the services provided to citizens, salaries and bonuses.
Along with hits received by Saudi administration day after another, the kingdom’s tone toward Yemen was gradually retreating. One year after the start of the aggression, Saudi Defense Minister Ahmed Assiri declared that “Arab coalition leadership became convinced that the solution in Yemen would be political, through a pure national agreement between the legitimate authorities and the components of the political community, including the Houthis [Ansarullah].” This was the first Saudi statement of a kind.
The clearest expression of Saudi Arabia’s decline came by FM Jubeir, who said in a tweet published last May: “Whether we agree or disagree with the Houthis, they still a part of the social fabric of Yemen.”
Thus, the tone toward Ansarullah was turned from “rebels” and “enemies threatening the security of the kingdom” to “a part of the social fabric of Yemen.” Jubeir’s statement obviously expressed his country’s desire for a ceasefire in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has lost its war on Yemen. More precisely, Mohamad bin Salman has failed in the war on Yemen, which he employed in his battle for the throne. For the sake of the throne conflict between the al-Saud princes, tens of thousands of victims have lost their lives, and Yemen has been destroyed a a lot of its cultural landmarks have been ruined.
Bin Salman recruited Saudi and Arab media to incite against Yemenis, and managed to kill the conscience of millions of people who did not turn a hair before the scenes of massacres and horrible killings. However, he did not succeed in the most important battle: the battle to bring the Yemenis bowing to take him to power over their dead bodies.
Source: Al-Manar Website